Many associations have inquired whether there are any restrictions in taking collections action to recover unpaid assessments. Currently, the Cares Act and other federal laws do not prevent associations from proceeding with collections, including initiating a personal obligation or foreclosure lawsuit. Likewise, there is not a Washington or Oregon state law preventing an association from sending delinquency notice letters, recording liens, or filing lawsuits.
However, in Washington, Governor’s Proclamation 20-51 currently prohibits an association from assessing late fees or interest on delinquent accounts beginning April 17, 2020. Originally, Governor’s Proclamation 20-51 also prohibited assessing fines for violations of the governing documents, but this restriction was lifted. Beginning August 2, 2020, Washington associations can now levy fines for violations of the Association’s governing documents. Oregon’s Governor has not adopted a proclamation similar to Washington’s, so associations in Oregon can assess late fees and interest on delinquent accounts, as well as levy fines.
While it may seem callous to proceed with collections during a pandemic, if associations fail to collect assessments from owners, the association will not have funds necessary to operate. Rather than stopping all collection action, if an owner fails to respond to the association’s standard delinquency notice letters, an association may consider offering to setup payment arrangements and/or waive late fees or interest assessed to the account. This may make it easier for an owner to bring and keep their account current.
No own knows exactly how long we will be dealing with COVID-19 or the economic impact it will continue to have on our communities; however, we do know that associations need to collect assessments to pay its common expenses. If you would like to discuss collection options for your association, please do not hesitate to contact our collections department. Barker Martin would appreciate the opportunity to create a tailored collections program for your association!
Many associations have inquired whether there are any restrictions in taking collections action to recover unpaid assessments. Currently, the Cares Act and other federal laws do not prevent associations from proceeding with collections, including initiating a personal obligation or foreclosure lawsuit. Likewise, there is not a Washington or Oregon state law preventing an association from sending delinquency notice letters, recording liens, or filing lawsuits. read more
From time to time, someone will forward me a community association question based on something they read in an online forum. Far too often, people posting to these forums start a post with something like this: "Our association's attorney said we should…." read more
Election season has returned. Although, when is it not election season? This year's presidential campaign promises to be one of the most contentious in living memory, and there are a number of state and local candidates and ballot measures that promise to be very divisive as well. Moreover, there are political issues that are critically important to our friends and neighbors, even if those issues are not directly on the ballot. Many owners will want to display signs in support of candidates, campaigns, or issues on their Lots, Units, or in their Limited Common Elements. read more
WSCAI Law Day is this Saturday August 8, 2020 from 8:30a to 3:00p and will be a virtual event! There will be multiple different classes offered throughout the day on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to, how to protect your association's data from cyber theft, handling water leaks, collecting unpaid assessments, and WUCIOA. read more
As we approach day 26,789 of the Covid-19 crisis, many of us have come to the realization that our "work from home" experiment is proving to be more permanent than we originally planned. Suits and ties have been replaced with sweats and t-shirts, the business attire "mullet" has been created for Zoom calls (business on top, leisure on the bottom), and desks have been replaced by comfy sofas. And, while many of us are adapting to this new normal, there are some insurance issues you may not have considered. read more